January 2010

This is going to be a quick check-in because I’m still coming down with a cold and feel miserable. I can’t breathe normally and my throat is developing a tickle. I detest being sick!

I met Kelly at Barnes & Noble this afternoon to hand off “Blind Date Bride.”

While I was there, I decided to stay and write for a while before I headed in to work. I added about 500 more words to Meg & Matt’s still-untitled story. (Must work on that!)


My task for “Operation Treat Writing Like a Day Job” today? Query letters.

I sent out 3 more e-queries this morning. Unlike last week, no responses awaited me at the end of the day. But that’s OK. I didn’t expect them to.

Not sure what’s on the list for Saturday. Perhaps some writing on Meg & Matt. Then again, maybe not. I may have more pressing matters to attend to.

Once I got to the office this afternoon, it hit me: I’m going to need a synopsis and query letter for “Blind Date Bride.”

However, since I just finished the first draft, I’m wondering if I should wait. I’ve read it through a couple of times and still like it just the way it is … perhaps it’s time to wait for some outside feedback.

Queries and synopses are not my favorite things to write. Anyone out there really like doing them?

I started my new scene in “Blind Date Bride” last night after work and finished it this morning, as soon as I woke up. I didn’t even get out of bed β€” just hauled the laptop into bed with me and started banging away on the keys.

As Hannibal said in “The A-Team,” I love it when a plan comes together!

Now, it’s time for some printing and then passing my beloved first-born single-title novel off to one of my NARWA sisters …

These are both scary and exciting times, my friends.

It’s nearly 1:30 a.m. and I’m ready to leave work (after spending an hour playing Bejeweled and generally wasting time online).

Figured that if I post that I’m going to go home and write, I’ll actually do it. Right?

I actually had a great idea for an extra scene in “Blind Date Bride” on the drive up from the Boyfriend’s this morning. It was writing itself … and it’ll extend the post-black moment, pre-reunion part of the story that feels rushed every time I read it through.

So the plan is to head home now and start writing it. I don’t need to go to bed until 3 a.m. anyway! πŸ˜€

I also need to send out a couple of queries that I didn’t get around to doing on Monday.

Unfortunately, all my time hasn’t been spent making writing my day job.

I have, however, managed to get a few things done.

  • On Sunday, I wrote another 1,000+ words on Meg and Matt’s story, bringing my total since Jan. 17 to 7,389.
  • Monday, I spent rereading/editing “Blind Date Bride.” After getting through the whole thing, it’s now ready for me to print out a few of the pages again β€” the ones with a ton of changes β€” and pass it on to one of my NARWA sisters who offered to read it.

Well, I guess that’s it. Tuesday, I worked and ran errands all day, so nothing got done. And today I’ve been doing the same thing. Ugh.

Not as impressive as it sounded in my mind. Oh well. At least I’ve accomplishedΒ something.

Last Saturday, we had our NARWA meeting and I was inspired to launch “Operation Treat Writing Like a Day Job.”

Today I capped off my operation, which admittedly isn’t as amusing as “Operation Snag Mike Brad,” with another good day. I wrote 1,421 words on Meg & Matt’s story (still untitled) in two writing sessions β€” one at Starbucks and one at the house.

That brings the week’s total word count to 6,209. I’m 6 percent finished with NARWA’s 100K word count challenge. Can I get a woo-hoo?

I’d have stayed at Starbucks longer, but I was falling asleep in my chair. I left because I kept thinking about how embarrassed I’d be to wake up drooling. Well, that and the fact that I couldn’t stay awake long enough to concentrate … I really like my writing time at the Bucks, and I don’t want to do anything to embarrass myself so I can’t show my face there again.

Once I got home β€” and helped shovel off our deck (again!) β€” I was awake enough to start writing again. Now, about 400 words later, I’m ready to nod off again.

So even though it’s very early for me (only 10 p.m.), I think I’m heading off to bed. Β The operation continues tomorrow with the start of Week 2 … perhaps it’s time to do a little more editing on “Blind Date Bride.” And Monday, I’ll ship off a couple more query letters.

Writing fell victim to necessity today: I HAD to shovel snow and then get to work early again. Then, since I was actually home early, I HAD to watch Conan’s last “Tonight Show.”

I did, however, spend about an hour writing after the show was over. Added 315 words to Meg & Matt’s story β€” and hit nearly 5,000 in my Word Count Countdown bar.

Unfortunately, I’m no longer on a roll. Getting those words out of my head and onto the screen was like trying to get a cat to do tricks.

I’m off from work all weekend. Hopefully, I’ll be able to recapture the roll β€” maybe a trip to Starbucks will help.

I couldn’t check in last night because the Internet stopped working. Unlike “the dog ate my homework,” this is no excuse. I was happily blogging away and couldn’t publish my post. Sometime between the time I started writing it and finished it to hit “publish,” I lost the Internet connection.

That said, I did get some writing done last night β€” a little more than 600 words on Meg & Matt’s story, which still needs a title.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I should do what I did during NaNo: Not waste time looking back at what I’d written before. If I let myself, I can spend a lot of time rereading and then not write anything new.

I sure am more productive when I can’t leave the house on my day off!

That’s not entirely true: I did make it to Starbucks for a couple of hours this afternoon. I got some writing done there β€” but I also did quite a bit at the house.

The end result: 2,702 words on Meg & Matt for the day β€” and I haven’t decided if the day’s over yet. (It probably should be. I have to be to work by 11 a.m. because we’re clearing the paper way early β€” by 7 β€” courtesy of the monster storm set to dump up to 5 feet of snow on Flagstaff Thursday and Friday).

Even if I don’t get anything else written tonight, I’d say 2,702 is a very good total β€” more than the last three days combined.

Why such a difference? Today, I was on a roll: the scenes seemed to write themselves. (It helped that they got to have nooky for the first time. For some reason, I have no trouble tearing through sex scenes that leave me tingling β€” and laughing.)

I was glad to leave Kara and Gareth behind and get back to the romantic comedy I do so well. (That was another one of Jennifer Ashley’s tips last weekend: “Learn how to write the story you write best.”)

For me, that’s romantic comedy β€” at least until someone tells me differently. πŸ˜‰

I hope no one ever does that.

It’s better than wishin’ and hopin’, I guess.

I did spend more than an hour writing today, so “Operation Treat Writing Like a Day Job” is still going strong on Day 3. The bad news is, it took me more than an hour to write about 550 words. I’m definitely not on a roll at the moment.

As usual, the dialogue comes easiest for me. (I’m giving my first presentation on writing good dialogue in March, to my NARWA sisters. Time to start doing some research on what makes good dialogue so I sound like I know what I’m talking about!)

When I finished writing the 500 or so words, it was after 1 p.m. β€” time for a lunch break. After lunch, I started looking for a paper I wrote for my English novel class my senior year of college. It compared and contrasted the heroes of “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights,” and theorized about the effects the Bronte sisters’ brother, Branwell, had on both. The book club was reading “Jane Eyre” and I thought it’d make a good addition.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a hard copy. I think it’s on disk somewhere, if I can find a computer that reads small floppy disks anymore.

I did, however, run across something else: The first novel I wrote that I consciously tried to make NOT a romance. The “hero” β€” if you can call a drunken 20-year-old who occasionally slaps the heroine around Β a hero β€” is dark and tormented; the heroine has her own demons.

What did my characters do? They ended up getting together anyway, but not necessarily in a good way. I never finished it, because I think to give it a satisfactory ending, I have to break them up and leave them broken because their relationship is so dysfunctional … but I can’t bring myself to do that. I want them to make it, and be happy.

The thing about it is, some of it’s pretty darn good. I have no idea where it would sell … parts are a mess. It tends to be superficial, and doesn’t do much more than scratch the surface of my characters.

There’s no head-hopping, though, because it’s told completely in first person, from the heroine’s point of view β€” until she goes into labor. Then I switch to his POV, and I think that’s part of the reason I’ve stopped writing. It’s much harder to be in Gareth’s head than it was to be in Kara’s β€” she was, as all my heroines are, somewhat like me.

It’s so different from what I normally write, too. I usually do lighthearted romantic comedy. This is much, much darker, with abuse on lots of levels, an incomplete trip to the abortion clinic and visits to see Gareth’s father in jail.

I’ve no idea what to do with it. Probably nothing. I don’t need to go back to the place I was when I was writing it. I don’t remember liking that place all that much.

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